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Old 05-06-2013, 02:28 PM   #61 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
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New neighbors arrived yesterday in the building, and came in an old Chevy SUV with a trailer. And a 4-banger Diesel engine

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Old 05-07-2013, 11:35 PM   #62 (permalink)
Passing the pump :)
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Not quite the same, but my dad had a '77 Plymouth Fury. It had a full frame class 4 hitch, he pulled a 26' travel trailer with it. It worked out well, the car was comfortable and the 318 motor pulled the trailer strong....it did look a bit weird for a car to be pulling such a long camping trailer though...
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:14 AM   #63 (permalink)
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Yeah, when I was a kid we pulled a 23 foot camper with a 79 Sedan de Ville.

Originally Posted by sheepdog44 View Post
Transmission type Efficiency
Manual neutral engine off.100% @MPG <----- Fun Fact.
Manual 1:1 gear ratio .......98%
CVT belt ............................88%
Automatic .........................86%

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Old 05-09-2013, 08:08 AM   #64 (permalink)
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I own a Camaro and a large pickup. After mods, my pickup is returning a highway average of 22. It started at 20 when stock. The Camaro is rated to tow 2000#, not 1000 like the OP stated, ( '82-'92 ) and with an overkill hitch I fabricated, I've towed 4500# with no issues. This Camaro started at 28 MPG with a 2.8L V6, and with a gearing change, now averages 27 highway MPG with a carbureted, emissions-legal 5.7L V8 and an automatic.
The trailering is the right idea, but the Camaro can't go off-pavement like my pickup does.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:09 AM   #65 (permalink)
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For canoes

I made a small canoe trailer out of an old boat trailer. It will hold 3 canoes and tow behind my ford focus. I believe the MPG is slightly better when towing 2 canoes than having those same 2 on a roof rack. This is on flat ground, though. The trailer itself likely weighs about 200lbs, so maybe in more mountainous regions the weight would play a bigger role. The easier loading, more secure tie downs, and extra cargo room on the trailer are great. I've even used it to haul barrels to make a floating dock, long lumber and for other utility purposes.

A friend who knows a bunch about cars told me any modern engine has the power - the issue for the cars with no rating is the structure of the frame. Apparently some honda's don't really have a frame extending back far enough to mount a hitch, so the hitch is mounted to material never designed to take the loads of braking a trailer.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:20 AM   #66 (permalink)
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I didn't read all 7 pages admittedly, but something cool is that the Hyundai Elantra is rated to tow 3500 lbs with trailer brakes. That's colossal for a compact, and truhfully, I've done it before in my Elantra and it really did work fine. Just didn't have that much power, but the frame is sturdy enough to take it.

Also, one thing to note though is that I used my Galant for a while to tow and at 70k, even with a trans cooler and frequent oil changes, my trans was toast.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:35 AM   #67 (permalink)
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Trailers are wonderful things. My grandfather's trailer was so popular with family and neighbors he ended up buying a second so he could get a chance to use it!

My 2.2L Camry is rated for 1000lbs unbraked, the trailer is 500lbs. The load of wood in the picture below was probably well over 500, poor thing could hardly stop (the load was only going about 3 miles, and a lot of care was taken). Also not long after the photo was taken it was discovered that the car had been firing on 3 cylinders (getting all four back was like upgrading to a V8!), goes to show you really don't need a massive truck to tow a trailer, especially for hauling stuff around the corner when moving house.

Our Sonata is rated for 1500lbs unbraked, but unfortunately it doesn't have a tow hitch and it's hard to justify the cost when the other car already manages for the once or twice a year it's needed.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:38 AM   #68 (permalink)
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Little Giant trailer

Could not agree more with the premise of this thread.

I bought a fairly expensive, Little Giant 3/4 ton trailer from Northern tool (item #125905 - sorry, not enough posts to include links).

I use this with my '02 Honda Accord Coupe. It has the weight capacity of a 3/4 ton pickup and I don't have large register costs, expensive insurance, don't really have to maintain it, or feed it gasoline.

The major reason for this specific trailer choice was that it has torsion suspension; no springs, and free shock absorption. A great feature that keeps the thing from bouncing all around when empty and provides a smooth ride when burdened.

This thing trailers like a dream!

The front and rear panels are securely attached with pins and are easily removable.

Another long-life feature is that it is strong, due to the heavy gauge galvanized steel frame, hooped square pipe construction, and galvanized sheet metal skin. The electrics are also of reasonable quality.

The trailer arrived in a box, and took me 3 hrs to put together.

The trailer now has the 4' tongue extension kit (meant for hauling kayaks, which I reduced to a 2' extension), and a folding/wheeled jack that I bought from Little Giant, and a spare and spare mount that I bought at the local tractor supply. I also intend to add stabilizer jacks to the rear.

Yes, this is not your yard sale type of purchase, but to me the cost, amortized over its life will be worth the money.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:50 AM   #69 (permalink)
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Last summer I bought a 5x8 landscaping trailer and bolted on a 1/4" plywood floor (It came with only steel mesh), a couple of side-bed pickup truck tool boxes and a pickup ladder rack. I took it on a camping/hiking/canoeing vacation, and it was fantastic. I could barely tell it was back there. It's very easy to load/unload, and I can haul my canoe, motorcycle or bicycles and several totes of camping gear and still open the hatch on the Jeep Compass.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:23 AM   #70 (permalink)
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I love trailers, and I try to convince people that its better to get one, rather than a big truck. Most of them resist, since its like getting a Harley... they don't need one, but it looks cool.

We have 6 trailers that go from light weight/small to the teardrop style, and up to the skid steer trailer. Each one has its uses. The two that get the most use are the 4x8 2K utility trailer, and the 4x8 teardrop. Both of these get pulled with the VW Jetta TDI, and both have 20-30k miles on them. Need a few sheets of plywood, sheetrock, or foam? Jetta pulling the utility trailer is the ticket. Need to move pallets of bricks, concrete, or longer material? Thats another story. Using our F250 diesel truck with the big trailer to haul a tractor or skidsteer is great. But... its a beater truck. Hauling the 20' 2x8's with the teardrop trailer and Jetta was "interesting."

I've heard it a bunch of time... I need a big, bad diesel truck to tow with or haul heavy loads. The people then never do what they say, but keep paying for the low mpg. You can argue all you want, but you'll never convince them to do something different, until fuel prices get to European levels.

One legitimate argument for a truck over a trailer is the ability, or should I say inability, to back up a trailer. My mom is a case in point. She had rental property, and bought a big box truck to haul things around. I told here that she could haul rolls of carpet in a trailer behind a car or small pickup, but she refused. She can't back up a trailer, and is unwilling to learn. Next door neighbor is the same way: he can't back up a trailer, even though he has a small utility trailer for his Subaru. His solution is to always drive forward, or use his garden tractor to back it into place.

This is a good thread, but I think its preaching to the choir. Another option is to get a beater truck. If you have a hybrid car, they tend not to have a tow rating. Along with having a small trailer for the car, I'm also a firm believer in having a second vehicle IF you need to haul a lot. A reliable beater truck with a full size bed costs more than a trailer, but it hauls more, especially if you put the trailer behind it.

I can understand people with problems not knowing how to drive with a trailer, but the ones that insist on getting a big new 4x4 pickup with diesel engine, just in case they need to use it is silly. Then they add 4 doors/crew cab, since they need haul their kids around... For the $30-$60k they spent, they could have a hybrid for daily driving, and older pickup to haul with, and a good trailer. But then again... its not as impressive looking as a redneck Cadillac. (4x4, 4door 1 ton diesel pickup with all the luxury features, just to haul a rowboat around)

As an aside: has anyone noticed that American cars don't have fold down seats in the back, while European cars do? My VW's back seat is almost always down, and I can carry 10' wood/pvc pipe, etc. with no problems. Not a lot of the material, but I mostly only need a stick or two, so taking the truck is a major waste. I guess the truck mentality is REALLY ingrained in the American way of life.


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